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Tykia Murray: Getting The Most Out Of Your Placenta

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Women on the verge of delivery: There’s one thing you might want to think twice about leaving behind at the hospital . . . your placenta.

It may seem strange or even morbid to hang on to, but women have been saving their "afterbirth" for centuries.

First, a little about the placenta: The word placenta comes from the Latin for “cake” (you’ll soon find this definition ironic). As you probably already know, the placenta is the organ that protects and nourishes the baby for its nine month stay in the womb. It aids in the transfer of waste from the fetus to the mother and produces the important hormone progesterone, essential in maintaining pregnancy. But just like your new bundle o’ joy, the placenta must be delivered.

So what now?

As I said earlier, women have used this prized (yes, prized) vitamin B-rich organ for centuries as a way to ward off postpartum depression. The best way to take advantage of this treatment? Ingestion. The most popular use for placenta is its preparation and consumption. This practice began with the ancient Chinese who created tablets from powdered placenta, and became popular in the 70s with “earth mothers,” those natural women who went braless and fought for women's rights. Now, with all the “Greenery” of late, it’s definitely making a comeback.

A simple google search yields recipes for placenta stew, placenta spaghetti, placenta pizza, placenta lasagna, and placenta cocktails; all claiming to be savory and delicious.

But, if eating placenta just isn’t an option, other uses include placenta hair treatment, cellulite smoother, and anti-aging agent. But, really, how fun are these?

Be adventurous. I once had a friend who said she’d eat anything as long as it was seasoned right; and in my research, I found one enthusiastic chef who said of placenta, “It tastes just like liver!” Not quite chicken, but perhaps worth a try.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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